The wheel of fortune turns inexorably: restaurants open; pubs are redeveloped; cafés are closed for refurbishment; and takeaways change hands. So it proved with one of Matt’s favourite chip shops, Mr Chips in Oakfield High Street.
Matt was not surprised when Mr Chips closed down, as although the food was great, the place was, to be honest, pretty tatty. He was disappointed to be deprived of his local fish and chips, but as there are plenty of wholesome alternatives he wasn’t inconsolable. Expecting the chip shop to be demolished in favour of another blank-faced development of modern one-bedroom flats for sale or rent, he was delighted when signs of activity within indicated that the chip shop lived on. It transpired that long-established Cowes chippy Corrie’s Cabin was branching out, and soon a synonymous branch was open in Ryde.
Now, regular readers will be aware that Cat regularly turns her pert nose up at the thought of fried fish, usually muttering some mumbo-jumbo about cholesterol. So the duty of weighing-up and considering such establishments falls to Matt alone, often assisted by junior reviewers and chip fans Bill and Jack.
So Matt kept in the back of his mind the new chip shop, just waiting for the chance to put it through its paces. Soon enough an opportunity arose to enjoy some fresh fish. After a visit to the splendid Jasmine Indian Cuisine in Shanklin, Cat had a Cat-sized doggy-bag portion of chicken moglai in her freezer. Not enough for Matt, so M & C decided to supplement the chicken with fish. Whilst Cat made her moglai familiar with the inside of the microwave, Matt set off to give Corrie’s Cabin a spin.
The newly-refurbished shop was sparkling and considerably brighter than its predecessor, and was busy with locals taking advantage of the surprisingly low prices. Matt popped in and ordered a large cod with medium chips. The polite lady behind the counter engaged in a little idle chat, whilst her colleague manning the fryers was slapping fish around with enthusiasm. Within a quarter of an hour Matt was back outside clutching his freshly-cooked prize.
Back home Cat doled out her chicken, and Matt eagerly unveiled the fish, finding it to be pleasingly well-cooked, and not sticking to the paper. Matt supplemented it with half a lemon of his own and tucked in. It was a little greasier than would have been ideal, but as a consolation it was a whopping specimen, one of the largest bits of cod Matt had ever been served, and excellent value for money in volume terms. Sadly it was a bit on the bland side, and whilst quite palatable, it was not as tasty as it was large. The chips, by contrast, were a reasonable portion but very tasty indeed, just perfectly fluffy and not at all greasy.
Corrie’s Cabin is a very good value shop serving basic fish and chips. Matt hopes it will have a long and illustrious tenure on Oakfield High Street.
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